We are excited to share that our foundation has given over $1,000,000 since beginning our grant process in October of 2015. We have partnered with 65 agencies, funding 128 grants and touching well over 1,000 children. These agencies have been instrumental in changing the lives of at-risk children. Their programs give our youth a feeling of worth and hope for the future and the opportunity to reach their full potential so they can be productive members of their communities. We are proud to be a part of making a difference.
Our areas of impact:
· Child Abuse
· Foster Care and Adoption Services
· Shelter and services for homeless mothers and children
· Clinics for expectant unwed mothers
· After School Programs for disadvantaged youth
· Therapy and Education for Children birth-5
· Parenting Education Programs
· Child Hunger
We are grateful to have the opportunity to give hope and help through funding and by providing opportunities for agencies to share best practices. We LOVE visiting the agencies to see the programs at work, the children’s smiling faces, and hearing about their dreams and successes. Thank you to all our donors, we could not have done it without you.
Together we make a difference!
Words can’t express the emotion I felt yesterday while attending an adoption at the judicial building in Sarasota. I was invited to this wonderful event by Heart Gallery of Sarasota, one of our partners. I was so happy for JoJo. As many of you know, I am an adoptive mom, and this brought back the memory of my son Dustin’s adoption when he was three, 32 years ago. I cried through the entire adoption today, tears of joy.
The children that find forever homes are blessed, but I believe that the adoptive parents receive the most blessings when they become a new parent to a child or children. All families benefit differently because each family is unique, but there is no doubt that an adopted child will enrich the lives of all family members by filling the home with life, love, laughter, new adventures and challenges, too. But what opportunity worth going after doesn’t have challenges? This challenge possesses arms to hug you with, a mouth to kiss, words to say, “I need you, I love you, thank you for giving me a home, teach me, play with me, fight for me” and eyes that shed tears of sadness and joy, and so many more amazing assets.
My son is grown now and all the challenges that we went through together were worth the struggle and heartache because he has brought so much love and meaning into my life. Today he is an amazing man, a wonderful father of my beautiful grandson, a loving brother, son and uncle and a productive member of his community.
I found this article to share, 'The Benefits of Adopting a Child', in case you are considering adoption or know someone. www.all4kids.org/benefits-adopting-child/
See who needs forever homes at Heart Gallery of Florida.
- Lana Swartzwelder - CEO The Libertore Fund for Children
The Libertore Fund for Children has been busy these last few months meeting with agencies in Sarasota and
Manatee Counties, analyzing data and choosing quality, transparent programs that are making a difference in the lives of children and families.
With the help of our board and our donors we were able to grant funding to these agencies this quarter:
Forty Carrots Family Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families through educational programs for parents, children and professionals in the field. They received funding from our foundation to provide weekly parenting education and mental health support to women living at SOLVE Maternity Homes’ residential facility in Bradenton, FL for one year. All of the women are homeless and pregnant or postpartum; 100% qualify for Medicaid. Many participants are overcoming past traumas and currently struggling with issues relating to poverty.
Forty Carrots Family Center’s core components are:
Parenting Education Program provides information, skills and support to families
Mental Health Services for children and families through individual or group therapy
Nationally Accredited Preschool which prepares children for success in school
Bridge a Life is a blessing for so many foster parents and parents that have recently adopted, as well as for the children that have been abused, abandoned, orphaned and/or neglected. As a prior foster parent and an adoptive parent of a toddler (who is now an adult), I know that having the opportunity to engage with others that have experienced difficult issues that surface with foster care and adoption and having access to professionals that understand these specific issues, is critical to the family’s mental and emotional well-being. The Libertore Fund for Children is pleased to partner with this worthwhile agency.
Stop, Drop & Roll is a safe place for families to bring their children to local, participating churches where we provide a loving, Christ-centered environment while parents enjoy a much needed evening out. The Stop, Drop & Roll team coordinates, hosts, and ministers to foster and adoptive families by providing parents a night out.
Ladies Night Out is a small group of moms or moms to be that meets for a meal at a local restaurant. This group provides a great way for foster and adoptive moms to connect while drawing support and encouragement from one another. Meeting locations are provided a month in advance.
The Hammer Time team serves to meet some of the practical needs of local foster shelters, group homes or foster and adoptive family homes.
Undie Sunday is an outreach program that teams up with Bridge a Life volunteers and staff with local churches by collecting boys' and girls' underwear, socks, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to meet practical needs of local foster care children.
The Stew Crew team coordinates, prepares, and delivers meals to foster and adoptive families who have just received a child or find themselves in a crisis situation. It removes at least one logistical hurdle for the day so that more emphasis can be placed on addressing the child's other needs.
My hope is that others will offer this ministry in their communities. The founder of Bridge a Life in Sarasota, Jody Jester, is willing to share best practices and information. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry you can visit the website at https://www.bridgealife.com/initiatives/local-outreach.html.
Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities is a non-denominational, 2-year transitional housing program in Venice for mothers and their children who would otherwise be homeless. They received funding to support a new family (mother and child) for their first 6 months in the program. The first months in the program are “make or break”; both mother and child are adjusting to a new and unfamiliar environment, a new set of rules and regulations, and for many, a perceived loss of self-determination. Comprehensive support services initiated in the first month's allow mothers to learn that they CAN take control of their lives by participating in learning experiences, taking advantage of casework services and benefiting from coursework offered.
Heart Gallery of Sarasota is a nonprofit that helps hard to place kids find permanent homes. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. They were in need of a part-time person to secure additional venues to display the pictures and funding for Pop ups, photos, marketing, posters and other display items to find those forever homes. We were happy to help in this worthwhile mission.
Heart Gallery of Sarasota is sponsoring a Luggage Drive for Foster Children and The Libertore Fund for Children wants to help get the word out!
There are 1400 foster children in Sarasota. When these children are removed from their homes they are given a garbage bag for their clothes and personal items. The Luggage Drive will provide them with a piece of luggage and necessary personal items that they can take with them to the shelter and keep for future moves, hopefully to a forever home.
Luggage needs to be new or gently used and can be dropped off at 6321 Beechwood Ave., Sarasota until July 31st. Please call Rachel before drop off at # 513-746-7779.
Heart Gallery of Sarasota is a non-profit agency that helps hard to place kids find permanent homes using photographic exhibits. Learn more at: